TURKEY

Turkish court releases 5 suspects in Dink case

TURKISH COURT RELEASES 5 SUSPECTS IN DINK CASE

A Turkish court on Friday released five suspects with alleged links to the killing of prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

Former police officers Metin Balta and Ahmet Cetiner from the police department of the Black Sea province of Samsun, and Gazi Gunay, Ergun Yorulmaz and Huseyin Yilmaz from the provincial gendarmerie command of Trabzon province had been remanded in custody over the murder of Hrant Dink.

Sixteen others are still in jail awaiting trial.

Other suspects in the case include leader of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) Fetullah Gulen, former FETO-linked prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, the former editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper Ekrem Dumanli as well as journalists Adem Yavuz Arslan, Faruk Mercan and Ercan Gun.

They are all charged with "intentional killing" and "attempting to upend the constitutional order".

Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, was killed outside his office on Jan. 19, 2007 in a case that has stirred intrigue and conspiracy theories.

Ogun Samast was jailed for 23 years in 2011 for the killing. Samast, who was aged 17 at the time of the shooting, claimed he killed Dink for "insulting Turkishness".

Although Samast is the only person to be jailed for the murder, speculation on the involvement of others has persisted.

In April, FETO -- which Turkey accuses of having plotted last year's deadly defeated coup of July 15 -- was officially tied to the case.

A 120-page indictment said soldiers and police involved in the Dink murder later played an active role in the defeated coup.

The next hearings will be on Dec. 4,5,7, and 8.

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